Secrets and Spies in the Richard and Judy Book Club List
Although no longer supported by regular television slots, the Richard and Judy Book Club still packs a punch and the autumn selection has just been announced. It is an interesting list with spies, secrets and tangled relationships predominating.
Most of these titles have been out for sometime, but I have to admit that I haven’t read any of them and some of the authors have passed me by completely. I would probably have remained in ignorance if it hadn’t been for today’s announcement. Celebrity Book Clubs provide a real service by bringing writers to the attention of readers and – more importantly – they can also persuade non-readers that there are books out that can speak to them, take them to strange and exciting places and touch on the subjects they care about. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and the strange and exciting place I want to visit is Alaska in 1920. Has anyone else been there or read anything else on this list? Seven out of ten books are still sold by word of mouth recommendation (not sure if R & J count) which I think is heartening so I would love to hear from anyone who has a view on any of these…
Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell. This family drama set in Dorset is Hannah’s debut novel (I think, at least I couldn’t find a reference to earlier novels). Apparently, she started writing Secrets just after giving birth….bet she bakes her own bread as well
Between a Mother and Her Child by Elizabeth Noble Grief over the death of a child destroys a marriage and threatens the mother’s relationship with her other children.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey Inspired by the classic Russian fairy tale about the snow maiden this novel is set in Alaska and centres on a childless couple who befriend a feral girl after making their own child out of snow.
The Guilty One, Lisa Ballantyne; The hero is a solicitor defending a 11 year old child accused of murdering a younger child – the case and the strong emotions aroused makes Danial question his own past.
The Seamstress by Maria Duenas I’ve seen it described as a “million copy” bestseller – I’m not sure if that is the literal truth – but clearly it has had considerable international success. Set in Spain and Morocco during the Spanish Civil war and WWII, it is the story of a woman betrayed by the man she loves who eventually becomes a spy for the Allies.
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani Star crossed Italian lovers are forced to separate. Both make a new life in America are separated again by WWI.
Fault Line by Robert Goddard; The hero is on a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets buried in his youth spent in Cornwall and Italy in the late 1960s
The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore, This book has already been a Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, although I missed it. In the cold winter winter of 1952 a lonely doctor’s wife in Yorkshire has an affair with a young airmen with unforeseen consequences. Dunmore is always worth reading
Double Cross by Ben Macintyre. I’m sure this has been on the radio too: the eccentric bunch of double agents (German spies working for Britain) seem very familiar. This is a history of D Day and the contribution espionage and counter espionage contributed to its success.